As the old saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, and make sure it knows its worth by offering it a huge amount of money.” That seems to be the case over at Netflix’s horror hit Stranger Things, where a new round of contract negotiations has reportedly ended in some extremely lucrative payday boosts for the entire cast. For a slice of perspective on how small a project this was, as compared to how popular it is now, the younger cast members will reportedly be making over 1,100% more in Season 3 than they did in Season 1.
Let’s break things down by age groups, shall we? For Stranger Things‘ first season, the child actors — including Finn Wolfhard, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, Millie Bobby Brown and Noah Schnapp — were said to be making around $20,000 an episode, though everyone got a $60,000 bonus as a sign of the show’s success. But you can tell a lot more paperwork went into laying out these latest contract negotiations, as THR reports the four young male actors will be earning $250,000 per episode in Season 3, which is a far better promotion than most people get from their day jobs.
Interestingly, Millie Bobby Brown’s salary stats are being shielded a little more carefully than those of the other actors, and it’s not quite clear what her exact earnings will be. As one of the show’s many breakout stars, Brown has capitalized on her newfound fame, and her reps had previously angled to get the actress paid something close to what the adult actors were bringing in. And though it’s not clear now, it’s believed that Brown’s deal slots her right between the younger actors and the adult stars, which would be right around $300,000.
The teenage stars, such as Natalia Dyer, Joe Keery and Charlie Heateon, are on the bottom tier of paid actors, even though they’ll still be making some major bank for their roles, which did indeed get expanded in Season 2. (Hell, Joe Keery’s Steve become an internet phenomenon in and of himself.) For Season 3, that trio will be earning $150,000 per episode.
Meanwhile, the upper-most tier of performer promotions is most befitting for the adult stars Winona Ryder and David Harbour. Ryder’s lengthy career had her earning $100,000 in Season 1, as compared to the lesser-known Harbour getting $80,000 per ep. But Stranger Things‘ popularity, combined with Harbour’s increasingly fascinating social media presence, has seen both actors’ payments rise notably, and each will reportedly now be earning $350,000 an episode for Season 3. Still a far cry from what Friends and Seinfeld stars made back in the day, and even what David Letterman is making for his own Netflix show today, but that kind of moolah can easily afford someone the opportunity to move the hell away from the horrors of Hawkins, Indiana.
With more money going into all the actors’ pockets, Netflix is apparently all-in on making sure Stranger Things has all the financial backing it needs in order to keep winning over audiences. Hopefully that means more licensed Ghostbusters products and lots more video game references. Oh, and more giant monsters wouldn’t hurt, either. Won’t someone please think of the giant monsters?!?
While Stranger Things Season 3 doesn’t yet have a release date in the cards, we can expect to find those eight episodes hitting the streaming giant at some point late this year, or perhaps even early in 2019. Until then, head to our 2018 Netflix premiere schedule and our midseason premiere schedule to see all the new and returning shows on the way.